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Driver gets ‘slap’ for swerving at riders

menace ACT police are seeking to charge this driver with road rage on legally filtering riders mencaing appeal rejected
ACT police finally nabbed this driver for road rage

A Canberra motorist facing possible jail time for swerving his car at two lane-filtering motorcyclists has got off with a relative slap on the wrist.

The driver, Jake Searle, 28, had been charged with to counts of driving with intent to menace and faced maximum penalties of more than $3000 in fines or 12 months in jail or both for each of these charges.

However, the charges were downgraded as he was a first offender. Searle was released on a one-year good behaviour order and disqualified from driving for three months.

He also avoided a fine.

Menacing videos

The incidents occurred on Majura Parkway on 30 October 2018. One incident is shown in this video which we published on November 2.

ACT Police were made aware of this video a day later and began investigating.

A second video later emerged showing the same driver swerving at another rider.

ACT Police made several calls for help to identify the two riders so a charge could be laid.

Police seek riders in lane filtering incidents call faces charges menacing
The rider in the second incident

At the time, ACT Police issued these details of the incident:

About 4:30pm, the riders were separately travelling northbound on Majura Parkway, Majura, when a green Ford Falcon swerved, almost colliding with the riders. At the time, the riders were lawfully lane filtering.

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Swerving justice

The Australian Motorcycle Council says it is “of concern when a driver uses their vehicle in a premeditated manner, as a weapon to harm others”.

“There appears to be little distinction between the quality of actions of this driver and those of the driver who killed pedestrians in Melbourne, although a difference in the scale or degree,” the AMC says.

ACT rider Bill Gemmell says the result “doesn’t make me feel safer because the place has an epidemic of bad driving”.

Legal filtering

Interestingly, these incidents occurred only a few weeks after the ACT made lane filtering legal.

Lane filtering was introduced in NSW five years ago and is now legal in all states and territories.

Not only is lane filtering legal but it also benefits all motorists as it helps move heavy traffic more quickly.

You can do your bit to educate drivers by sharing our “Open letter to drivers“.

Filtering rage

Drivers obstructing riders has been happening since lane filtering was introduced.

Check out this video from 2017 sent to us by Newcastle rider Harry Criticos.

“I was filtering legally when a driver stuck his whole body out in an attempt to block me,” the 2016 Triple Black R 1200 GS rider told us.

“I did not stop and he did make contact with the bike. I hope it hurt.”

This motorist was fined $325 and three demerit points.

Lane filtering is legal 

Surely it is time for some major advertising campaigns in each state to advise motorists that riders are allowed to filter and what benefits there are for ALL motorists.

That was the major finding of an online poll we conducted in 2016, yet there are still few major ad campaigns.

So far, lane filtering education campaigns have been minimal and mainly aimed at riders, not the general motoring public.

We not only need major ad campaigns, but also roadside signage such as this photoshopped sign.

lane filtering signs consensus duty defend filter call charge
Here’s a sign we’d like to see!

We are not aware of any polls about lane filtering in Australia.

However, in California where lane splitting (filtering at higher speeds than 30km/h) is legal, polls have found it is vastly unpopular among other road users. The main objection is that it’s unfair!

That breeds hostility which results in stupid behaviour such as in the above video.

Lane filtering lane splitting America danger bosch filter call charge
Lane splitting is unpopular in the USA

So long as lane filtering remains unpopular and/or erroneously believed to be illegal, motorists will do stupid and dangerous things to stop riders filtering.

  1. Unfair they say how about looking at it this way we bike riders risk our lifes for motorists to have more car parks to park in less travel time cause we can filter less damage to the roads n if we brake down we dont cause a traffic jam like they would braking down we dont get cheap rego but put our lifes on the line every time we put on those gloves n helmet riders deserve more respect n cheaper rego

  2. Lane filtering is a natural part of asian cultures such as thailand, vietnam, china etc. This has clearly meant less traffic congestion. While some ride a bike, this equates to less cars on the road causing greater disruptive conditions. People need to not take dangerous actions but, as in thailand, facilitate traffic meaning we all return home quickly and safely. Blocking a rider won’t prevent filtering. If your not happy that others move through the traffic quicker than you, become a rider as many have.

    1. Oh I thought road rules in a lot of asian countries were “strictly advisory”
      yet it seems to work

  3. The driver should have lost his licence for at least 5 years.
    I wonder what would happen if I swerved my car in the same way toward a police officer on the side of the road?
    Do you have the contact details of the judge who made this ridiculous decision?

  4. I commute to and from work with my motorbike, and admittedly most car and smaller trucks are respectful, and veer to widen the gap for me to filter through.
    I nod to acknowledge their courtesy..

  5. I have a “Lane Filtering is legal” sticker on the back of my helmet, many drivers see it, it’s my way of educating drivers. But I do get the odd wanker in a tradie ute/truck who blocks my way or tail gate me. I have a camera on my helmet and the footage with an email to their employer or Facebook page (They panic when it goes there) I usually get an apologetic response within a day or so.

  6. Aussie drivers are the worst ,I’m an australian and a motorcycle rider and can’t belive what I have seen and experienced whilst enjoying the roads ,there is no common courtesy.

  7. Yes I agree to Elizabeth Farmer…Australian driving attitudes and etiquette are sadly very much backward…
    …If I can’t get ahead why should you…or look princess get in the queue like everybody else…it’s all about me me and me and stuff you mate I’m alright…and don’t get me started on reputations and appearances…but don’t worry there is another country not too far from here that is the same if not worse…the scary part is their 30yrs behind…that means where attitudes and etiquette were like here 30yrs ago…that’s what it is over there now…
    ………………………happy motoring…

  8. Pathetic and possibly part of the reason the riders didn’t bother coming forward for a while.

  9. Should the behaviour of people such as Jake Searle be treated as a traffic offence when in reality it is a premeditated criminal action?
    As Elizabeth noted Australia perhaps has the rudest drivers which From my experience overseas I agree. But I think ther is more to it & there may be something intrinsically wrong with the Australian Psychology?

  10. The good thing is the vid is freely available now.
    Every now and then re-share it!
    He will keep seeing it pop up, deserved punishment me thinks!

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